Growing interest in a lesser known building material could create healthy homes all over America.
It’s called hempcrete. This combination of chopped hemp shiv and lime binder is durable, sustainable and carbon negative. Lime is an abundant quarried material and hemp is a renewable biomaterial — both safeguarding the sustainable future of hempcrete and our planet.
HOW DOES HEMPCRETE PROMOTE HEALTHY HOMES?
Hempcrete is a breathable matter, absorbing moisture from the air when humidity is high and releasing it again when humidity levels drop. This ensures that water vapour can pass in and out of the wall rather than becoming trapped and causing damp problems.
When cooking or in bedrooms at night from the occupants breathing, there is often excess moisture in the air. Hempcrete absorbs this moisture into the walls to be released later, discouraging damp. This in turn combats the formation of fungi and mold spores which are damaging to human health.
The regulation of humidity has been shown to inhibit the spread of viral and bacterial infections, allergic reactions and respiratory conditions. This ability to regulate air quality reduces the need for powered air filters and ventilation systems, allowing for truly healthy homes.
WHAT ABOUT HEMPCRETE AND PEST CONTROL?
Hemp is naturally fire-retardant and pest-resistant. Because of these properties, there is no need to add the chemicals which are usually added to building materials, including formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and VOCs have been implicated in both asthma and allergies. The omission of these chemicals obviously contributes to the health of the occupants of the house.
Hempcrete can be used to build new healthy homes or add an extension to your existing home, perhaps a “granny annexe” allowing elderly parents to move in with their children in a healthy environment or a “relaxation room” for family members to unwind and breathe deeply.
HEALTHY HOMES AND HEMPCRETE: WILL THE BENEFITS WEAR OUT?
Hempcrete is an incredible material which has negative carbon emissions. This means that it absorbs more carbon dioxide than is produced by building it.
Even in this form, when hempcrete has consumed more carbon dioxide than it has left in the atmosphere, it remains breathable, so homes continue to be rainproof but remainpermeable to gas and moisture in the environment. Hempcrete homes will stay healthy for life.
What with the growth of green building, interest in healthy homes and and widespread need for sustainable building materials, hempcrete is set to be the home building material of the future.